An excellent day of WTA betting was rather let down by Daniel Munoz-De La Nava’s disappointing defeat to Michael Llodra on Friday at the BNP Paribas Open.
The policy of backing the value outsiders who are normally more renowned as clay courters paid off in several of the other matches last night, including Daniel Gimeno-Traver’s win over Lukas Lacko and Pablo Andujar’s success over Steve Johnson. Unfortunately for my bet Llodra served magnificently and a single break in each set was enough for the Frenchman.
Starting from today we actually have pictures from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which is always helpful. Both Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are in action tonight and it will be interesting to see both play; it’s Rafa’s first competitive match on a hard court for a year and Federer will have been hurt by his loss against Tomas Berdych in Dubai.
Today’s second round matches offer several tempting opportunities to take chances on some underdogs, such as Lleyton Hewitt at 2.75 against John Isner or Daniel Brands at 2.0 against Andreas Seppi.
There are also several matches that the layers can’t pick a winner in. Ernests Gulbis v Janko Tipsarevic is one such example, as is Benoit Paire v Philipp Kohlschreiber. On form you would have to favour Gulbis over Tipsy, but the Latvian has had a lot of tennis lately and Tipsarevic’s bad run is sure to end soon. I would side with Kohlschreiber over Paire under normal circumstances but the German’s lack of tennis lately is a concern.
I think it’s worth taking a chance on Bernard Tomic, who takes on Richard Gasquet in the fourth match scheduled for Stadium Court 2 tonight. They’ve played just once in the past, which was on indoor hard in Bangkok at the end of last season. Despite the Aussie having a poor record in indoor conditions, Gasquet won just two more points in a match that he edged 7-6, 6-4.
Tomic has the advantage this time of playing on a surface more to his liking and he’s already had a match here, which he won in straight sets over Thomaz Bellucci.
Gasquet is coming in a little bit cold, having not played for a fortnight after losses to Marcos Baghdatis and Gilles Muller in consecutive weeks indoors after winning Montpellier. If Tomic takes the game to the Frenchman he could well have some success today. I'll take Tomic to win this match with a 2.5 game start on the handicap at 2.0
Best bet: Back Tomic +2.5 games to beat Gasquet at 2.0